Thursday, October 25, 2007

Yeah, we are unique

Since we bought our blue Prius, we have been noticing them everywhere. In fact, there is another on our block, 3 houses away. There is another one at our workplace. Half the families of Iris' circle of a half dozen playmates have identical blue Priuses. See the photo at the camp bus stop above.

At work, I sometimes wander around the vast parking structure and lot, looking for my car. (Mark bicycles in most days and often takes the car out at lunch for errands. He doesn't always tell me where he left it.) I have mistaken the other blue Prius for mine, walked all the way across the parking lot and then discovered it was the wrong car. It is easy to be faked out; the other blue Prius has the same booster seat, but in a different color. That is not evident until I get right up next to it and the door doesn't automatically unlock for the smart key in my purse.

My solution is to park next to the other blue Prius. That way, we need to only walk to one area of the lot and we know our car is nearby. (This post is to inform Mark of our new system.)

Last night, I found out who owned the other blue Prius at work. I had to smile. They work downstairs from me and sent their two kids to the same day care center that Iris attended for 3.5 years. It was the same daycare center where I met the other 3 blue Prius owners. (I count the family that sold us their blue Prius when they moved across the country.) Of course their son, the same age as Iris, has the same booster seat.

6 families, one daycare center, and 5 blue Priuses. I better send them email to let them know that I am not stalking them, I just want to minimize the time it takes me to find the car.

I heard one commentator say that we don't really meet people by chance any more. We think we do, but we meet people who share our values and interests because of the places we hang out. Mothers who meet at daycare centers bond because we already had something in common by virtue of selecting that daycare center.

Because we can afford this particular center, we have to have a certain level of income and education. The location of this center implies that we live or work nearby; housing segregation by class and income is commonplace. This center charges about as much as one of LA's cheaper (usually undocumented with little or no English) nannies for the same amount of hours. The fact that we chose the center over one on one care in our homes says something about our values.

Fire Update:
We are fine. Mark's parents in San Diego are fine. The current fires are farther from them than in 2003. The smoke level at our house finally became tolerable this morning. My breathing is less ragged now. There was a bit of coastal fog that precipitated out much of the fine particles in the air. I am even hanging laundry outside today.

The LA county fires are mostly out. The San Diego fires still pose a danger. Go to the KPBS website for the latest news and fire maps for SD.


  1. Anonymous11:21

    Somehow I surround myself with people that drive a Subaru Forester. Wonder what that says about me...

  2. I suddenly notice boring blue Saturn sedans, and although I'd much rather have my nose in a book as I ride the train/subway to work!

    I'm curious about the meeting by chance. I have met quite a few people by chance, although I won't say that they are permanent fixtures in my life. However, those chance meetings resulted in some nice conversations and some pleasant memories.

  3. Yes, we sold a 14 year old Saturn wagon after we got the Prius. We were not happy with the reliability and the gas mileage of the Saturn.

    After 8 years, the gas mileage inexplicably dropped to 20 MPG overall. We paid a lot trying to figure out what happened. We tried two mechanics. The Saturn mechanic told us that is just what happened to older cars. Maybe that is what happens to American cars, but our Mazda got 28 MPG overall for the decade we owned it.

    Anyway, there used to be a great number of Saturns in the parking lot at work. Now, we don't see as many. We see Toyota Priuses.


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